Robert Van Tarlton, 83, of Taylorsville, passed away on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at his residence.
He was born in Concord, North Carolina, June 22, 1933, son of Weir J. Tarlton and Margaret B. Tarlton. He graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School in 1951 and Lenoir Rhyne College in 1955.
Van came to Taylorsville in May 1952 to play baseball for the Taylorsville semi-pro team. He played at Lenoir Rhyne in 1952 and, as a freshman, hit a home run with bases loaded in his first at bat. He played all of the games in 1952 and 1953 and hit .426 in 1953 before signing with the Cincinnati Professional Team, playing three years. In 1954, he was an all star member of the Alabama-Florida baseball league of Graceville, Florida.
Van met Patricia Matlock the love of his life and they were married on October 4, 1952.
Survivors include his wife, Patricia Matlock Tarlton; children: daughter, Susan Tarlton Marshall and husband Randy of Greensboro, son, Robert V. Tarlton Jr. of Taylorsville, and daughter Sandra L. Tarlton of Swannanoa; grandchildren, Robert E. Marshall and wife Laura of Charlotte, David A. Marshall of Raleigh, Sara M. Rotman and husband Mark of Mooresville, and Trenton K. Tarlton of Taylorsville; and five great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by an infant brother, Weir J. Tarlton Jr.; a brother, L. Morris Tarlton; and a sister-in-law, Doris R. Tarlton of Concord.
Van opened a Nationwide Insurance Agency in May 1957 and continued the agency for 38 years. During the agency years, he was awarded the Presidents Club for 15 years and Charlotte Agent of the Year for sales.
Van was a member of East Taylorsville Baptist Church, serving as a Sunday school director, deacon, and teacher.
He taught 8th grade at Hiddenite School in 1955-1956.
He was a member of the Alexander County Hospital Board and served as its treasurer, a member of the board of directors of Brushy Mountain Golf Course, and a member of the Taylorsville Board of Adjustments. He was inducted into the Alexander Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. Van was a member of the Board of Director’s at Alexander Funeral Service and served as the Board Secretary.
Visitation will be Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at Alexander Funeral Service, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The funeral service will be Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at East Taylorsville Baptist Church, at 2:00 p.m. Rev. Jamie Steele and Rev. Gary Jennings will officiate. Burial will follow in Hiddenite Cemetery with Rev. Mark Marshall and Rev. Kevin White officiating. The body will lie in state thirty minutes prior to service.
Deacons, active and inactive, will serve as pallbearers.
Memorials may be made to the building fund of East Taylorsville Baptist Church, PO Box 906, Taylorsville, NC 28681; or Gideon’s Memorial Bible Fund, PO Box 517, Taylorsville, NC 28681.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Alexander Funeral and Cremation Service.
Condolences may be sent to www.alexfuneralservice.com.